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Russian top general, US ambassador meet to discuss Syria, raise trust

Europe
19.02.2018
By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Moscow (dpa) - Russia‘s top general, Valery Gerasimov, met Monday with the US ambassador to discuss the state of several nations, including Syria and Ukraine, to counter a mutual "low level of trust" between their two countries.

"There is obviously a low level of trust between our two countries," Ambassador Jon Huntsman was quoted as saying in a statement from the US embassy. "It is precisely at moments like these, when more communications are needed, not less."

Gerasimov, chief of the Russian military‘s general staff, met with Huntsman at the Defence Ministry, the statement said. They discussed Syria, Ukraine, Afghanistan, North Korea and "strategic stability," it added.

The Defence Ministry confirmed the meeting, saying in comments carried by state media that the officials exchanged views about security and prospects for bilateral military cooperation.

Russia‘s Foreign Ministry said last week that five Russian citizens, not official military personnel, were killed in a recent US coalition airstrike in war-torn Syria. It was the Russian government‘s first admission of its citizens being killed by US-led forces in Syria.

The airstrike occurred on February 7 in the eastern Syrian province of Deir al-Zour, where US-backed rebels have been fighting Russian-backed Syrian state forces. Media reports have said that Russian mercenaries were involved in the fighting.

Relations between Russia and the United States have plummeted in recent years to their most tense period since the Cold War.

A major point of contention developed when Russia annexed neighbouring Ukraine‘s Crimea region in 2014, in retaliation for Ukraine ousting its pro-Russian president.

 

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